This week's menus A clip-and-save guide to a week's worth of meals

Menu Planner

August 09, 1998|By Susan Nicholson | Susan Nicholson,Universal Press Syndicate

Each day of the week offers a menu aimed at a different aspect of meal planning. There's a family meal, a kids' menu aimed at younger tastes, a heat-and-eat meal that recycles leftovers, a budget meal that employs a cost-cutting strategy, a meatless or "less meat" dish for people who may not be strict vegetarians but are trying to cut down on meat, an express meal that requires little or no preparation, and an entertaining menu that's quick.

Sunday/Family

Peach Grilled Lamb Kebabs (see recipe) will be everyone's favorite. Serve your own rice pilaf on the side. Add steamed, fresh asparagus spears and sourdough rolls. For dessert, make a chocolate sundae with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt and fat-free chocolate sauce. Top with a few toasted pecans.

Plan ahead: Save four kebabs for Monday. Save the chocolate sauce for Tuesday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make lamb pitas tonight. Halve whole-wheat pita bread and line each half with a dark-green lettuce leaf. Peel, seed and thinly slice a cucumber. Chop the leftover kebabs and reheat. Stuff the pitas with the kebabs and cucumber. Add a dollop of reduced-fat plain yogurt to the pita for a two-fisted dinner. Serve with couscous made with reduced-sodium chicken broth. Cool off with fresh fruit and chocolate-chip cookies.

Tuesday/Budget

They'll be lined up to taste Mexican Meat Loaf (see recipe). You'll need baked potatoes with fat-free sour cream and steamed, fresh green beans on the side. Just add multigrain rolls.

For a quick dessert, make some instant vanilla pudding using skim milk. Swirl some fat-free chocolate sauce left from Sunday over the pudding.

Plan ahead: Wrap, date and freeze one of the meat loaves for another time.

Wednesday/Express

We liked Michael Angelo's Vegetable Lasagna With Marinara Sauce. Look in the frozen-food case for the 40-ounce container and expect four, not five, 290-calorie servings for about $5.99. If you can't find Michael Angelo's brand, pick out another quality frozen vegetable lasagna. You'll want a mixed green salad and garlic bread to complete your meal.

Thursday/Kids

The kids will shout "ole" when you present Green Chili Quesadillas to them (see recipe). Serve with fat-free refried beans. To complete the kid-pleasing fiesta, make your own guacamole or buy some from a store. Serve on shredded lettuce.

Tip: For more even browning, switch around the baking sheets holding the quesadillas after half the cooking time.

Friday/Meatless

Mediterranean Pasta Salad (see recipe) is full of flavor and quick to prepare. Serve with a spinach salad and Italian bread sticks. For dessert, serve fresh raspberries over raspberry sorbet.

Saturday/Entertaining

Be the perfect maestro and prepare Spicy Lemon Chicken for your audience (see recipe). Serve the chicken with garden-fresh broiled tomatoes, using your favorite recipe. Add oven-fried potato wedges and crusty bread on the side. Fresh strawberry fondue is a '90s dessert. Dip the fresh berries in fat-free chocolate pudding (made with skim milk) for a grand finale. Expect a standing ovation.

Shopping List

What you'll need for this week's menus (consult recipes for exact amounts)

Sunday

teriyaki-style basting and glaze sauce

peach jam

rice wine vinegar

dried rosemary

garlic

boneless, lean lamb for cubes

red onions

rice pilaf ingredients

fresh asparagus

sourdough rolls

fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt

fat-free chocolate sauce

pecans

Monday

whole-wheat pita bread

dark-green lettuce

cucumber

reduced-fat plain yogurt

couscous

reduced-sodium chicken broth

fresh fruit

chocolate-chip cookies

Tuesday

ground-round beef

frozen whole-kernel corn

salsa or picante sauce

regular oats

cilantro

chili powder

cumin

eggs

cooking spray

ketchup

baking potatoes

fat-free sour cream

fresh green beans

multigrain rolls

instant vanilla pudding

skim milk

Wednesday

Michael Angelo brand or other convenience vegetable lasagna

greens for salad

garlic bread

Thursday

lean ground beef

ground turkey

onion

salsa

canned chopped green chilies

reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

medium (8-inch) flour tortillas

cooking spray

canned fat-free refried beans

ingredients for guacamole or store-bought product

dark-green lettuce

Friday

spiral pasta

Italian-style canned tomatoes

jar of artichoke hearts

kalamata olives

red onion

fresh spinach

Italian bread sticks

fresh raspberries

raspberry sorbet

Saturday

lemons

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

lemon pepper

sugar

chili powder

fresh tomatoes and other ingredients for broiled tomatoes

frozen potato wedges

crusty bread

fresh strawberries

fat-free chocolate pudding

skim milk

Peach Grilled Lamb Kebabs (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8 minutes

1 cup teriyaki-style basting and glaze sauce

1/3 cup peach jam

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dried and crushed rosemary

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 pounds boneless lean lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large, quartered red onions

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